030: The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Women’s Choir (Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares) – ‘Pilentze Pee’

Bulgarian folk music predates our European tradition!! It wasn’t affected by early polyphony; it remained duophonic long after the Europeans Renaissanced. The singers use throat resonance to hold a steady pitch for 5 minutes. It’s full of modal scales, dissonant harmonies (abundant second, seventh, and ninth intervals). And if you’ll give it a chance, you just might find that it really is quite enchanting.

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043: The Left Banke, ‘Pretty Ballerina’

A precious, delicate flower from 1966.
Baroque & roll.

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038: Van Morrison, ‘Astral Weeks’

The legendary summer of 1968, one of the finest pieces of music I’ve had the great honor and pleasure to embrace – Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks”.

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212: Bon Iver (Justin Vernon), ‘Towers’

Justin Vernon sure knows how to impale an earworm on a melodic hook. Let’s hope he gets engaged enough to catch the big one.

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045: Julie London, ‘Bye Bye, Blackbird’

In which Jeff recalls how Julie London enticed him into basshood.

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062: Martha and The Vandellas, ‘Heat Wave’

Ok, hotshot–what group of musicians played on more number one hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis, and the Beatles combined?

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210: Tigran Hamasyan, ‘Drip’

Tigran’s website says he plays “atmospheric punk jazz improvisations fused with the rich folkloric music of his native Armenia”. Me? My binge is in its sixth day and I still have no idea what I’m listening to. But I’m still listening.

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031: The Beach Boys, ‘Little Saint Nick’

I live in the only non-Christian country in the Western world, so Yuletide is quite conspicuous in its absence.. But who can resist the greatest hot-rod carol ever?

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